A Salvation Army kettle was stolen outside Hanes Mall on Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman with The Salvation Army.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Belk store entrance at Hanes Mall.
The bell ringer was trying to help an elderly woman get her walker through the door. When the bell ringer turned his back, someone stole the kettle.
“It accounts for about a fourth of our budget, so each kettle out there is very important,” said Oshkosh Salvation Army Captain Don Karl.
It’s part of the reason why Captain Don Karl with the Salvation Army of Oshkosh says a kettle stolen from the Oshkosh Walmart Saturday evening is so frustrating.
“It is an outrage; there really is no need to do this.”
Karl says what troubles him most about the theft was that if the suspect was in trouble and needed some assistance, Karl says all he had to do was stop in and ask.
“Sit them down and just ask them what provoked you to do that? Was it out of anger or was it out of desperation or need? If it was out of need come on and see us.”
Volunteer bell ringers say the theft won’t put a damper on the season of giving.
“It’s a real negative but you come out here and you do this and it’s a real positive. People are very generous and it’s uplifting and it’s for a good cause.”
While police continue to search for a suspect who stole from an organization dedicated to helping those in need.
Police say the suspect is a white man. He was wearing a blue jacket, possibly a North Face brand with the hood up. He was also wearing blue gloves and blue jeans with white tennis shoes.